A FAMILY which fell victim to a gang of vandals terrorising a Hampshire village fears residents may resort to vigilante justice if the thugs are not caught soon.

Simon Herring from Blackfield raised the warning after a large metal object was thrown through one of his upstairs windows and landed just two feet away from his six-year-old daughter Zara’s bed.

After hearing the crash Mr Herring had rushed out of his home in Valley Close, Blackfield, to see youngsters running away and laughing.

When he went to check on his daughter, he found her shaken and the floors upstairs covered in broken glass.

“I felt disgusted; I am not the type who cries easily, but when I think of what could have happened to my little girl it made me very upset,” said the painter and decorator.

“One of my daughters was on a school trip, but my youngest daughter was in the room. I found the metal bracket under her bed.

“My little girl was so frightened she didn’t want to go back into her bedroom. I had to drive her to my parents’ house which is a couple of miles away. I came back and boarded up the window, but when I returned to my parents’ house later she was still shaking.”

Mr Herring claims he has seen an increase in vandalism in the area over the last few months.

Earlier this month, Blackfield Primary School and Noble’s Fishing were also targeted by yobs –- with the school being vandalised four times in three days.

“This was not an isolated incident, one of my neighbours had a concrete block thrown through their new car’s windscreen and a nearby cat was also shot and seriously injured,” said Mr Herring.

“I fear if the police do not pay more attention to this, there will be some vigilante justice in my neighbourhood and then we will descend into chaos. I have a 90-year-old neighbour who is scared in his home. We have been egged before and I just put it down to children being stupid, but this is dangerous.”

Mr Herring, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, is now calling for more police patrols.

“Police presence in the area used to be so good. Just being there might deter vandals.”

Mr Herring states he was not visited or contacted by the police until three days after the incident.

New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis said: “It would appear there is an organised mini crimewave in this area. The suspicion has to be that the incidents are being organised by an individual or a group. I would expect the local police to take this matter extremely seriously. This is getting to a level that sooner or later, someone will be seriously hurt.”

A spokesman for Hampshire police said: “We are aware of concerns raised regarding a number of incidents in the Blackfield area this month.

“We have spoken with a member of the public who has brought this to our attention, and this information has been relayed to our local neighbourhood officers. If you have any concerns then please speak with our neighbourhood team.”

“Please be reassured that we are aware and will investigate all allegations reported to us.”